ALTOONA, Pa. – The third-seeded Penn State Behrend women's volleyball team won their fourth Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Championship with a five-set win over No. 4 La Roche on Sunday afternoon at Penn State Altoona.
The Lions (19-11) have won 15 of their last 16 matches to get to the title game, taking the Redhawks (13-18) in five to capture their first AMCC crown since 2013. Behrend won 25-19 and then fell in two straight sets 25-23, 25-17 before winning the final two sets 25-17 and 15-7.
Amanda Henry (Bridgeville, PA/South Fayette) and Hannah Saunders (Elizabeth, PA/Elizabeth Forward) each had a double-double. Henry led with 25 digs and a season-high 20 kills, while Saunders dished out 46 assists, 21 digs and four blocks. Rachel Frye (Leechburg, PA/Kiski) and Saunders were named to the AMCC All-Tournament Team for their efforts during the championships.
In the decisive fifth set, three kills and a pair of aces from Keely Hering (North East, PA/North East) got Behrend to an 8-4 lead. A kill from Frye with an assist from Madison Clapper (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) followed by an ace from Saunders pushed the lead to 12-6, putting the Lions three points away from the championship.
A kill from Christine Aland made it 12-7 but Behrend won the next three points on two La Roche errors and the final point was a kill from Frye at 15-7 for the AMCC title.
Down three points in the first set at 11-8, the Lions had a pair of kills from Henry and one from Saunders to even it at 13-all. A 9-4 run capped by a service error by the Redhawks made it 22-17. Emily Archer (Butler, PA/Butler) had back-to-back kills and Henry had the final kill for a 25-19 win to start the match.
La Roche was faced with set point on three occasions in the second set before winning 25-23 on a kill from Toni Torchia. The momentum stayed the Redhawks way, giving them a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-17 win in the third.
In the fourth set, La Roche held a 11-9 lead and then committed three straight errors combined with a kill by Henry and Kylie McSwaney (Greensburg, PA/Greenburg Salem) to swing the lead in Behrend's favor at 15-11 to force a Redhawk timeout. The Lions kept the steady lead and relied on kills from Hering and Frye once again for a 25-17 victory to force a final set.
The Lions had six players with double-digit digs. In addition to Henry and Saunders, Clapper added 24, Hering tallied 20, Frye added 12 and Lexi Irwin (Greensburg, PA/Hempfield) finished with 17.
Behrend will await the results of the NCAA Division III Selection Show on Monday.